Perhaps the Hall's Heyday The Late Nineteenth Century?

A photograph of The Hall taken from the gardens to the south, thought to date from around 1880. On the right (East) can be seen the conservatory and to the left behind the evergreens is the section that remains to this day.

The six windows shown on the first floor of the modern image at the top of this page are those which can be seen on the extreme left of the old image. At that time the external wall above that elevation was continued in a parapet, about a metre or so above the present eaves.

The plan below (Rotated for clarity) shows the section of the house in the above photograph. The semi-circular bay to the Dining Room can be clearly seen in the centre of the plan, looking south towards the Tiered Fountain.

Part of the Ground Floor Plan from 1885

The plan of the Hall is part of a survey measured and drawn by Messrs G. Fowler Jones & Son [Architects] of Micklegate, York, in August 1885. In the lower right corner can be seen the semi-circular ended Conservatory. The existing West Wing is in the lower left, although the extreme left parts of the structure are no longer standing, having been lopped off in the 1960's some time before the sale of the entire estate in October 1964.
The remaining structure of the Hall is shaded on the plan to show its position relative to the overall residence. A larger version of this plan is available here [Broadband Recommended]

Early Twentieth Century

Camping at Parlington?

The Hall is shown in the top left corner of the postcard, in the centre is St Ricarius Church, Aberford. To the top right is the old Mill, which stood on the aptly named "Windmill Hill", now Lotherton Lane, it was sited to the west of the present A1 just to the north of the bridge over Lotherton Lane, it was demolished in the 1980's. More on that later as additional information has come to light courtesy of Mark Jackson. Bottom right is the bridge over the Cock Beck in Aberford and bottom left Hazelwood Castle. Larger images of the postcards can be found in the Old Photographs Section.

Perhaps the belief that the Hall slid into decay following the death of Colonel Gascoigne in 1905, is not quite as accurate as imagined, the postcard above sent from Aberford in 1924 states: "..I am spending my holidays 1 week at camp with the Rangers at Parlington Hall. The 3 windows where X is is the room we have there are 2 more companys here. This is the village where my mothers people come from..."

So during the period post WW1 there is evidence that parts of the Hall were habitable, but quite how habitable is not known! Given that the young girl's message mentions two further companies of Rangers, it is probable that the number of people staying at the Hall was in excess of 60 and perhaps as high as 100. Therefore unless large parts of the property were in use, the gardens must have been taken up with tents!

Certainly the size of the Drawing Room which is the room mentioned in the message was large enough to accommodate twenty or so people in "Barrack Style". Also given that the room was open to the conservatory on its east wall indicates that the conservatory must have been standing intact, it would hardly be likely to be used by Rangers if the structure was damaged and glass lying about.

New September 2005

A recent aquisition, a postcard, provides more information about the state of the Hall in the early twentieth century. The writer states in August 1912 on a card featuring the Hall ".. They are pulling this place down." Given that the entrance "The Porte Cochère" to the Hall and several elaborate fireplaces were moved to Lotherton in the early years of the twentieth century, some time after the 1905 death of Colonel Gascoigne. It is likely that the entrance area and accompanying structure was partly removed leaving the building in a ravaged state. However still sufficiently intact for sections of the building to be used.

Hide And Seek

Copy of Parkinson and Roy Postcard, Parlington c.1925

A further clue exists on a postcard sent to a Miss Snelling in Pinner, Middlesex in 1932 where the sender states "...This is a view of the house they are letting go to ruin, I think I have told you about it." Additionally in a note on the head of the card it states "We had a game of Hide and Seek in here Sunday morning it was a bit creepy I must say."

Therefore as late as the 1930's the Hall was largely intact. Certainly the description of "being a bit creepy" is very apt for a building which is left empty for long periods, however as certain fixtures were moved to Lotherton Hall, and must have been removed well before the date of the later postcard there would have been a distinct air of decay about the place!

The details of this interesting message were provided by Dr Adam White the Curator at Lotherton Hall

1880's showing the conservatory

c.1880 same angle as D. Morritt in 1950's

The Hall from the edge of the garden to the south east, Photographed c.1880. this is a similar view to the picture below, taken some 70 years later. The trees, one to the front of the house and the one on the extreme right of the photograph have certainly grown a lot, but they no longer exist.

In the foreground is a small fountain which is described on the Ordnance Survey Maps of the time, no trace of it can be found today, althought there appears to be an underground water course near the location of the fountain.

1950's Before Demolition [1]

The Hall shortly before demolition.

The Hall from the edge of the garden to the south east, Photographed c.1952, by Dennis Morritt, who kindly lent the picture.

The Hall shortly before demolition in 1952, by that time the conservatory on the east wall of the drawing room, the most pronounced part of the building in the foreground, has gone. Beyond the drawing room can just be seen the semi-circular bay of the dining room and further in the distance is the west wing which still stands today.

1950's Before Demolition [2]

A recent find at a bookfair, kindly supplied by Lee Toone, this shows the remains of the Hall circa 1950, the view is almost identical to the shot above, by Dennis Morritt. However it is a larger image and shows in greater detail the derelict buildings. A larger version of the above image here


2005 same angle as D. Morritt in 1950's

The West Wing as it exists today, from approximately the same angle as the three photographs above, but nearer due to the extensive woodland now covering that part of the site.

Parlington Hall in the late Nineteenth century. Taken from a photograph provided
by the Garforth Historical Society.